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J&K governor to boys with guns: ‘Kill looters’

He said there were some 250 active militants in Kashmir, of whom 100 to 125 were Pakistanis

By Muzaffar Raina in Srinagar

  • Published 22.07.19, 1:04 AM
  • Updated 22.07.19, 8:47 AM
Satya Pal Malik did not specify whom he wants the militants to kill, but he has been repeatedly referring to alleged corruption involving leaders of the pro-India camp.
Satya Pal Malik did not specify whom he wants the militants to kill, but he has been repeatedly referring to alleged corruption involving leaders of the pro-India camp. (Telegraph file picture)

Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday appeared to be instigating the militants to kill people who had “looted” Kashmir, the bizarre plea coming amid an anti-corruption crackdown on several leaders of the Valley’s pro-India camp.

“Those boys who carry guns are unnecessarily killing their own men, killing PSOs (personal security officers), killing SPOs (special police officers). Why are you killing them?” Malik told a gathering in Kargil.

“Kill those who looted your mulk (homeland), those who looted the entire wealth of Kashmir. Did you kill any of them so far?” he asked.

Malik did not specify whom he wants the militants to kill, but he has been repeatedly referring to alleged corruption involving leaders of the pro-India camp.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has castigated the leaders of the two main pro-India parties — the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party — even saying the Abdullahs and Muftis have taken turns to plunder Kashmir.

Malik on Sunday expressed outrage at politicians who talk different languages in Delhi and Srinagar, again targeting the leaders of the mainstream Valley parties.

“These are the leaders who are scaring us in Delhi and are instigating people here. We are asking them to speak one language, either this or that,” he said.

Militants had last week killed two personal security officers guarding National Conference leader Syed Tauqeer and PDP leader Mufti Sajjad, respectively, probably providing the trigger for the governor’s unusual plea to the rebels.

Malik has in recent weeks followed up his speeches about corruption in the Valley with a crackdown on some of the leaders of the mainstream parties.

There have been raids on properties owned by the son of former state finance minister and National Conference politician Rahim Rather and on Srinagar deputy mayor Sheikh Imran, among others.

On Saturday, the crime branch questioned Naeem Akhtar, a key minister in the previous PDP-BJP government and key aide to Mehbooba Mufti, for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts during his tenure as public works minister.

In the same breath as Malik asked militants to kill the corrupt, he urged them to shun violence, saying “nothing will come out of the gun”.

“Nobody can make the Indian government bow by using the gun. There was an organisation in Sri Lanka by the name of LTTE; there is no terrorist organisation in the world more powerful than it (LTTE) was, but it has been destroyed. You cannot fight governments, you can get everything through talks,” he said.

Malik said there were some 250 active militants in Kashmir, of whom 100 to 125 were Pakistanis.

“They (Pakistanis) survive for two days in encounters and they (Kashmiris) survive for two hours. They (Kashmiris) don’t have any training or good weapons,” he said, emphasising the futility of taking up the gun.

Malik claimed some people were promising the militants paradise if they died in their cause.

“But I’m offering you two paradises. One of the paradises is Kashmir. Emperor Jehangir had remarked that if there was a heaven on earth, it was here (in Kashmir),” he said.

“Your (Kashmiris’) children are talented. Your girls and boys make the best doctors in the country. Nourish them. And when you die as good Muslims you will have another paradise (in the hereafter).” 

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